Well, with the weather warming, AC maintenance calls are lighting up the phone lines trying to convince homeowners that they need to use them for a low fee. I get these calls too and find it frustrating from my perspective as an AC company owner. There are basically 7 part in your cooling systems.
I will absolutely GUARANTEE that if you fall for this worry free summer or its fixed free check up, you will get a laundry list of expensive things that need to be cleaned or replaced and the ultimate… the unit should be replaced. So the guarantee they are giving you is 100% worthless. It’s a ploy to make you think your in great hands and you have nothing to worry about. This is exactly where the power shifts from you the homeowner to the contractor.
I can’t predict how long an AC unit will last. However, I can tell you a unit properly maintained and cleaned annually will last longer than one that’s not. When getting service, look at the age of the technician. If a young person shows up expect a list of things to be replaced or cleaned. If a seasoned veteran shows up get ready for the units shot speech and needs replacement…. wont make it through the summer etc…. fear induced sales.
Ultimately, you the consumer has to make a decision on what to do. I am here merely acting as an advocate to help you make better AC buying or AC replacement decision. That’s why we do free second opinions on AC systems and repairs. Oh, and we DO NOT pay sales commissions to employees.
I don’t use expensive filters. I use a simple pleated filter and change it every 30 days. When I get the electric bill that’s my signal to change the filter. I keep a box in the garage. I also keep a can of cheap furniture polish in the box as well. Before I replace the filter, I spray it with furniture polish. This helps attract and hold finer dust particles making a cheap filter better.
Today while browsing, I saw an interesting ad for system performance checks. Everyone always feels more is better, 44 ounce soda for a $1.oo is better than 12 ounce soda for $1.00. I see the same behaviors in air conditioning check ups and air conditioning tune ups. The real issue here is what’s checked before and after and what should a maintenance plan actually include? I can check 85 items, even 90 if I track every single step I take in inspecting and cleaning.
We often follow other contractors who use very suspicious techniques. In one instance, an elderly women went without heat for almost 2 years because of a contractors blunder. When called for things like this we take a lot of pictures and encourage the customers to file complaints with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors to preclude others from being victimized.
In this instance, we emailed the company on her behalf and are happy to say that, at my strong suggestion, the company refunded her for the work previously completed. We don’t do this for profit we do it because we care about how all customers are treated in this industry which is why we do business the way we do…. Its a reflection on all of us when someone does stupid things.
When told you need a new AC system, your heart will most likely sink. No one wants to here that but if you are told that here are five quick tips to ensure a better AC replacement buying experience.
1. Make sure the recommendation comes with substantiation on why the replacement is needed. If given a laundry list of parts that are bad from a spring maintenance check be cautious. Mrs. Jones, you need $1150 in repairs and that’s a great down payment toward a new system. NOTE: Most technicians doing spring checks get paid on commission for upselling parts and repairs to you. PriceMyAC.com doesn’t pay commissions!
National HVAC Manufacturer backs 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed Pledge for
Tempe AZ, March 2, 2015– Representatives from Bryant Heating and Cooling announced today that PriceMyAC.com has qualified as a Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer. While this is an important accomplishment for PriceMyAC.com, the real news is what it means to valley area home owners.
With the Valley weather starting to heat, be on the look out for heating and cooling companies that use deceptive business practices. Yesterday we installed a new air conditioning system for a client. When we proposed the price, he was taken aback by sticker shock. New systems are expensive. He was unsure of how to proceed, however, because he had great tenants he decided to go ahead with the investment. After the installation, the tenants raved about the airflow improvements as well as distribution into rooms that previously didn’t have proper airflow with the old system. A new AC system will provide a payback of about 3-4 years.
The Clearly when your AC system breaks down these are the last words you want to hear. Unfortunately, you may need a new AC unit but let’s look at the areas where you might need one and why. But before we get to that, let’s explore some other areas as well as an example of how not to buy a new system.
WARNING! If you do not know where your AC condensate drains from your system, you could be in trouble…. AC systems cool the air, in that process they also condense water out of the air as they dehumidify and cool the air. This water is typically about 2-4 gallons a day but also depends on where you live. We encourage people to look for drainage and make sure it’s draining a slow steady drip and even a small stream of water every now and then.
Yesterday we were called out to a house by a reluctant homeowner to service her system. I say reluctant because it was only 3 years old and she felt the new system did not need to be maintained. When we showed up we found two things wrong. First, the system was improperly charged, the second was a pending failure precipitated by the low refrigerant charge.
The second most common error in new AC system installations is improper charging. Under or over charge can result in a 20-30% decrease in cooling capacity.